(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION     411

value for the assessment of the performance of schools and
individuals.

The work done in the creation of tests of capacity and achieve-
ment is only part of a wider endeavour to give education a solid
groundwork in assured knowledge. The scientific ideal inspiring
the invention of standardized tests has found a varied expression
in the science of experimental pedagogy in all parts of the world.
Alfred Binet in France, E. Meumann and W. A. Lay in Germany,
E. L, Thorndike in America, W. H. Winch and Cyril Burt in
England, may be named as workers who have in their several
ways helped to lay the foundations of the new science. Even
yet there is no final agreement regarding its scope, but the fact
that the experimental and statistical methods employed have
been largely derived from the procedure of the psychological
laboratory, and that it has drawn freely on the results of recent
psychological inquiry, has tended to make it in the main, though
not exclusively, a laboratory science.

Though this movement for the scientific study of the facts
of education only goes back to the early years of the present
century, a great variety of work has already been accomplished,
both with regard to the physical and mental life of the child and
with regard to the teaching of the several subjects of the school
curriculum. Investigations in the former case have for the most
part had reference to the technique of learning (the conditions of
exact observation, differences of mental imagery, the economy of
memory, the acquisition of skill, etc.), and to such general
problems as the immediate and more remote effects of practice,
the phenomena of fatigue, the mental differences of the sexes,
and differences between individual learners. In the latter case
investigation has followed three main lines: (a) analysis of the
mechanical processes involved in reading, spelling, writing,
arithmetic, etc., with a view to the discovery of the most econom-
ical ways of teaching them; (b) critical scrutiny of the various
accepted methods of teaching the school subjects; and (c) the
institution of standards of performance in the several subjects in
order to test and compare the results obtained.

The time has not yet come for an assured evaluation of the
achievements of experimental pedagogy* It is still a science
in the making, with more problems unsolved than solved. But
enough has already been accomplished to show that as it develops